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The hitchhikers guide to… parasites

ITM contributes to the updated WHO guides


Image 1/2 : Bench aids for the diagnosis of intestinal parasites

The World Health Organization has been providing practical referencing guides to those working on intestinal parasite morphology since 1994. These Bench aids for the diagnosis of intestinal parasites are intended both as a guide for laboratory and field workers in endemic countries and as a teaching aid for students and trainees. Twenty-five years after their first edition, the second edition of bench aids was published on 23 May this year. ITM was heavily involved in the process, partially by making its extensive image library available, and via the expert advice of lab technician Idzi Potters on content, layout and diagnostic techniques.

“It was a great experience to work together with this international team of highly specialised parasitologists for the past four years,” says Idzi Potters. “The final result is a wonderful collection of 14 weatherproof plastic-sealed plates, a user-friendly format at the bench.” High-quality microphotographs demonstrate the appearance and diagnostic features of the various parasites in the different preparations. In the back they show various methods for microscopically detecting parasites in stools, together with the main staining techniques for the diagnosis of intestinal parasites. One of the new features of this edition are the two overview plates, one for helminths and another for protozoa, allowing for size-comparison, and a plate entirely dedicated to artefacts.

The bench aids are recommended for use by all health workers engaged in the routine diagnosis of intestinal parasitic infections.


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